Surf Protection, Surf Economics
December 08 2011

San Diego State opens Center for Surf Research

by Chad Nelsen


As chronicled as early as 1966, when the influential surf travel documentary Endless Summer premiered, surfers have been travelling the globe in search of perfect uncrowded waves in paradise. Many exotic places were discovered but what followed wasn't always pretty.

Surfers often pave the way for larger scale tourism industries but too often create a legacy of soiled destinations, disheartened and distressed communities, and missed opportunities to replace poverty with sustainable livelihoods.

The Center for Surf Research at SDSU hopes to help change that.

The Center for Surf Research is a non-profit research and teaching center housed in SDSU’s Sustainable Tourism Program under the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The Center provides leadership in the struggle for sustainability in surf tourism by:

  •     Shaping responsible global citizens through life-changing experiential learning opportunities for students and the wider community;
  •     Creating and disseminating specialist knowledge to governments, the surf industry, tourism developers, destination communities, non-profits, and tourists;
  •     Inspiring and driving active stakeholder engagement with the social and economic development of destination communities, sustainable use of their resources, and conservation of their critical environments; and by
  •     Developing a sustainable surf tourism certification program.

The CSR is directed by Dr. Jess Ponting, an Australian surfer and researcher who has the world's first PhD that focused on sustainable surf tourism management.

You can read a recent AP story about Jess and the Center for Surf Research here.